Travis Kelce the clear leader of Chiefs TE corps

The tight end position enters the season as a bigger question mark than usual.

Anthony Fasano was released during the offseason, leaving Travis Kelce as the most experienced player in the offense remaining from 2014.

The Chiefs currently have six tight ends on the roster:

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) in the first half against the St. Louis Rams at Arrowhead Stadium, Oct. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) in the first half against the St. Louis Rams at Arrowhead Stadium, Oct. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)

1. Travis Kelce: Kelce led the Chiefs in receptions (67), yards receiving (862) and explosive plays with 15 plays of more than 20 yards during the 2014 campaign. The former Cincinnati Bearcat also tied for the team lead in receiving touchdowns with five.

The 6-5, 260-pound Kelce appeared to have a good grasp of the voids in coverage during recent spring practices. He would also chat with quarterback Alex Smith to make sure they are seeing the same thing.

The former third-round pick has arguably some of the most explosive athletic ability of recent Chiefs tight ends.

Kelce, however, needs to continue to work on ball security. Offseason practices showed a maturity and acceptance of being the leader.

2. Richard Gordon: The former defensive lineman converted to tight end after his freshman season at the University of Miami. The five-year veteran looks like he has lost some weight and increased his quickness in the open field.

Gordon had some nice grabs during spring practices and seemed comfortable in executing the offense. Gordon gives the Chiefs an established veteran who can block, execute the offense and provide reliability to the roster.

3. James O’Shaughnessy: O’Shaughnessy showed many flashes during camp with an impressive catch radius, making the difficult catches look routine.

The fifth-round pick of the 2015 NFL Draft will need time to develop his strength and blocking skills at an NFL caliber, but he looks eerily similar to Anthony Fasano in making tough catches and getting open over the middle. There is a lot of promise in the Illinois State alumnus.

4. Demetrius Harris: Harris now enters his second accrued season on the Chiefs roster. He showed promise after making the roster last season. Unfortunately, the opportunity was derailed by a foot injury in Week 10 and an additional foot surgery in early May. Harris was not present on the field during offseason practices, but the Chiefs are hopeful for his return in training camp.

5. Ryan Taylor: The fifth-year veteran appeared in 50 career games with the Green Bay Packers before joining Kansas City on May 21.

Taylor is known for his special teams ability and was third on the Packers squad for special teams tackles during a three-year span. He doesn’t provide the same explosiveness as Kelce, but he brings reliable hands and is willing to make the tough catch over the middle.

6. Adam Schiltz: The Emporia State alumnus found himself on the Chiefs roster after the unexpected retirement of Sean McGrath last season. Schiltz still needs time to develop before he can upset Gordon, O’Shaughnessy or Harris for a roster spot.


Nick Jacobs is a contributing writer for Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @Jacobs71.